Nov 13, 2012

Thou shalt not complain so much

I've recently become aware of the fact that lately I seem to be a complainer....

I find myself complaining about the silliest things... having to put clean dishes away, for example. Take them out of the dishwasher and put them in the cabinet. Honestly, when you think about having no dishwasher - or heck, no running water! - the 3 minute job of putting dishes away just seems to be too trivial to complain about.

I complain that I don't see my granddaughter (who lives in Texas) enough. And yet, my grandson is with me at least five days a week, and I catch myself complaining about that!

I complain that there's nothing to watch on TV. We probably have 500 channels to choose from, plus all the On-Demand channels and free movies through Amazon, yet there's nothing to watch? (And, if I'm being totally honest, I also complain about not having enough time to read. If I'd watch less TV.....)

I complain I don't have enough sewing time. I don't work. I have no kids messing up my house. My husband not only picks up after himself, but often cleans up the kitchen or cleans a bathroom without being asked. Not enough time? Really? Compare my free time to the time of a single mother who works full time... I have no right to complain. (I do, however, have the right to brush up on my time management skills and make more time for the things I enjoy!)

I find myself complaining I have nothing to wear. I stand in front of a closet that is SO full I don't think I could fit another 10 hangers with clothes in there - and yet I have nothing to wear? Compare that to someone suffering losing their home during the recent Sandy superstorm... and I seriously have nothing to complain about.

In this season of giving thanks, I've come to realize that being thankful also means not complaining about the abundance we have. When you compare our own situations to so many others who are unemployed, or a single mom struggling to make ends meet, or with their home demolished by storms, we seriously have nothing to complain about.

And complaining, I've also noticed, focuses your brain on the negative side of things. And there's so very much to be positive about.

I told my husband lately that I need to be more "in the moment"... enjoy what's going on around me and not be thinking about the past or the future. Just the here and now. I find this so difficult to accomplish, but I hope to work on it more and more. Enjoying the moment, of course, also bypasses the opportunity to complain. If I'm enjoying the moment with my grandson, I won't be thinking about the mess I have to clean up later or how tired I am when he leaves at the end of the day. If I'm enjoying the moment, I won't be thinking about having "nothing to wear" but enjoy the abundance of clothing before me, the blessing of having a closet full of clothes. Time with my family will be less of a chore and more of a blessing. Traveling will become more of an opportunity to experience new things and to interact with new people, and less about the time it takes to get to and from the airport.

So I plan to keep working on "enjoying the moment" and to try and guide my thoughts away from complaining and steer them toward the actual experience of what's going on around me.

Less complaining allows you to enjoy what is before you. Enjoying what is before you allows you to be thankful for what you have. And I have a lot to be thankful for - so it's time for less complaining!

Life is good -- appreciate that more!


Karen said...

I totally understand what you're saying Joan. I struggle with the same thing myself sometimes. You just have to constantly remind yourself to look on the bright side of things. It helps me a lot that I have a Hubby who's an eternal optimist! Good luck with your positive thinking! I KNOW you can do it!

Carla said...

ou are so right and I so enjoyed reading this. Hope your doing well with your change :)